cancel
Showing results for
Did you mean:
New Member

## Absolute Beginner Seeking Guidance/Validation of Concept

Hello -

First time user. Wondering if this is

• Correct Location to address my questions.
• Curious if my general logic is sound.
• Unsure how to start. (For example: with "Goal" and "Approximate Steps" as listed below is the correct method to make a 'Flow?' If so, I am unclear on some 'Flow' elements to use as one tutorial said there are 300 options. Elements like "Open email" are obvious to me but I don't know what element to select for "read a spreadsheet field's date and determine if less than 90 days away, then send an email." (That is a paraphrase, not the exact logic. See below for specifics.)

((The webpage just failed to send after I was complete and I lost message. Back to a previous saved copy. (Note to self: always, always save before submitting!) Point is that I am frustrated and the "approximate steps" below may be rough. However, I am just reaching out to see if I am on the right path, and maybe what flow events to use.

I haven't programmed before, and want to get some familiarity with automating. So, any guidance or suggestions are appreciated, however, I am not looking for someone to do it for me. Thank you. Scott))

Goal:

From a spreadsheet of customers, check each site's expiration date on their service contract, and send the relevant (form letter) email to that business' contacts depending on 90-days, 60-days, and 30-days prior to that expiration date. Then, color code a selected field (red, orange, yellow, green) based on approaching expiration date.

Approximate steps:

• run daily
• calculate "expiration date" as
• <30 days from 'today'
• 31-60 days from 'today'
• 61-90 days from 'today'
• >/= 91 days from 'today'
• if "expiration date" >/= 91 days from today
• set specified field to green
• end
• if "expiration date" </=90 days
• copy site contact's email address(es)
• open email
• select corresponding email template (for 90-, 60-, 30-day)
• send
• close email
• set specified field in spreadsheet (yellow, orange, red)
• end
2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
Super User

Hello! Welcome!

• Correct Location to address my questions? Yep!
• Curious if my general logic is sound. It is sound. Some of your terminology is going to change a bit, but you'll learn as you go. I'll translate a bit for you.
• Unsure how to start. The .. beginning 😄  I am also not a programmer. I could not code my way out of a box in ANY language. A lot of Power Automate is Googling and Testing.

First things first. The terminology. The things you are saying sounds like you intend to use Power Automate Desktop (RPA) instead of Power Automate (cloud automation).

B) Do you understand the difference between these 2 very different tools? Let me know if not, that's an important one!

For your steps, depending on what your scenario is, if you're using cloud, it'll translate to this:

• The trigger will be a Recurrence flow, set for "Once Daily"
• Get data from Excel by using the "List rows in table" action.
• Use a "Compose" action to determine the distance of days between today and the Expiration Date.
• Classify "expiration date" as... (few ways to do this..)
• <30 days from 'today'
• 31-60 days from 'today'
• 61-90 days from 'today'
• >/= 91 days from 'today'
• Use a condition: if "expiration date" >/= 91 days from today
• IF YES: set specified field to green (I would recommend instead using conditional formatting in  your spreadsheet to automatically turn this to green based on a value. If you need to do this manually, then you will need to use either an Office Script or RPA, and it's much more complicated.)
• if "expiration date" </=90 days...
• Send a New Email and add the Site Contacts from the current item into the "To" field.
• Automatically apply the appropriate Subject Title and Body for (for 90-, 60-, 30-day) templates. (This could be done by storing them elsewhere. It depends how complicated they are. Or, you could have all 3 built out and just use a "Switch")
• Set specified field in spreadsheet (yellow, orange, red)  (Again, I'd do this with conditional formatting for simplification.)

Let me know if you're with me so far, and we can get into the step-by-steps where you get stuck.

# ______________________________________________________________

Did it contribute positively towards finding the final solution? Please give it a thumbs up.

I answer questions on the forum for 2-3 hours every Thursday!

Super User

For RPA (robotic process automation - Power Automate Desktop) vs cloud:

Power Automate Desktop is something you download and install and create bots on. Bots take control of your computer and keyboard and perform tasks as if they are the human themselves. You can't use your computer when the bot is running, as you will see them take each step. If you need it to run on its own, you'd need to set up a virtual machine and install it there. If you want to run it unattended (ie, not going there and pressing "start") then you have to purchase bots from Microsoft.

Power Automate cloud is what you see when you go to https://make.powerautomate.com/ - the tools are all right there in your browser, no need for a VM or bots.

You can call a Power Automate Desktop bot from a Cloud flow, though!

Does that help? Or make it worse? haha

# ______________________________________________________________

Did it contribute positively towards finding the final solution? Please give it a thumbs up.

I answer questions on the forum for 2-3 hours every Thursday!

5 REPLIES 5
Super User

Hello! Welcome!

• Correct Location to address my questions? Yep!
• Curious if my general logic is sound. It is sound. Some of your terminology is going to change a bit, but you'll learn as you go. I'll translate a bit for you.
• Unsure how to start. The .. beginning 😄  I am also not a programmer. I could not code my way out of a box in ANY language. A lot of Power Automate is Googling and Testing.

First things first. The terminology. The things you are saying sounds like you intend to use Power Automate Desktop (RPA) instead of Power Automate (cloud automation).

B) Do you understand the difference between these 2 very different tools? Let me know if not, that's an important one!

For your steps, depending on what your scenario is, if you're using cloud, it'll translate to this:

• The trigger will be a Recurrence flow, set for "Once Daily"
• Get data from Excel by using the "List rows in table" action.
• Use a "Compose" action to determine the distance of days between today and the Expiration Date.
• Classify "expiration date" as... (few ways to do this..)
• <30 days from 'today'
• 31-60 days from 'today'
• 61-90 days from 'today'
• >/= 91 days from 'today'
• Use a condition: if "expiration date" >/= 91 days from today
• IF YES: set specified field to green (I would recommend instead using conditional formatting in  your spreadsheet to automatically turn this to green based on a value. If you need to do this manually, then you will need to use either an Office Script or RPA, and it's much more complicated.)
• if "expiration date" </=90 days...
• Send a New Email and add the Site Contacts from the current item into the "To" field.
• Automatically apply the appropriate Subject Title and Body for (for 90-, 60-, 30-day) templates. (This could be done by storing them elsewhere. It depends how complicated they are. Or, you could have all 3 built out and just use a "Switch")
• Set specified field in spreadsheet (yellow, orange, red)  (Again, I'd do this with conditional formatting for simplification.)

Let me know if you're with me so far, and we can get into the step-by-steps where you get stuck.

# ______________________________________________________________

Did it contribute positively towards finding the final solution? Please give it a thumbs up.

I answer questions on the forum for 2-3 hours every Thursday!

New Member

I didn't mean to break up my response. Anyway -

• Thank you for the translations, and the terminology of needed actions.
• Googling and testing. Got it.
• To restate - I do not know of importance of RPA v. cloud and am happy to begin where you suggest. I will proceed then with cloud focus.
• Will proceed with conditional formatting in Excel for the coloration.
• Waiting on my IT for the SharePoint access to files (I am a new hire) to address the email template situation.

Looking forward to your future assistance. I need to research how to create / save this process and then begin implementing your suggestions. Thank you, again, Rhi.

Super User

For RPA (robotic process automation - Power Automate Desktop) vs cloud:

Power Automate Desktop is something you download and install and create bots on. Bots take control of your computer and keyboard and perform tasks as if they are the human themselves. You can't use your computer when the bot is running, as you will see them take each step. If you need it to run on its own, you'd need to set up a virtual machine and install it there. If you want to run it unattended (ie, not going there and pressing "start") then you have to purchase bots from Microsoft.

Power Automate cloud is what you see when you go to https://make.powerautomate.com/ - the tools are all right there in your browser, no need for a VM or bots.

You can call a Power Automate Desktop bot from a Cloud flow, though!

Does that help? Or make it worse? haha

# ______________________________________________________________

Did it contribute positively towards finding the final solution? Please give it a thumbs up.

I answer questions on the forum for 2-3 hours every Thursday!

New Member

It helps IF I UNDERSTAND IT CORRECTLY - haha, but yes, it helps.

I will not be using bots, so PA cloud is what I expect to be using. Given that, it sounds like I will be creating cloud flows, is that correct terminology?

Super User

That's right!

# ______________________________________________________________

Did it contribute positively towards finding the final solution? Please give it a thumbs up.

I answer questions on the forum for 2-3 hours every Thursday!

Announcements

#### Announcing the MPPC's Got Power Talent Show at #MPPC23

Are you attending the Microsoft Power Platform Conference 2023 in Las Vegas? If so, we invite you to join us for the MPPC's Got Power Talent Show!      Our talent show is more than a show—it's a grand celebration of connection, inspiration, and shared journeys. Through stories, skills, and collective experiences, we come together to uplift, inspire, and revel in the magic of our community's diverse talents. This year, our talent event promises to be an unforgettable experience, echoing louder and brighter than anything you've seen before.    We're casting a wider net with three captivating categories:  Demo Technical Solutions: Show us your Power Platform innovations, be it apps, flows, chatbots, websites or dashboards... Storytelling: Share tales of your journey with Power Platform. Hidden Talents: Unveil your creative side—be it dancing, singing, rapping, poetry, or comedy. Let your talent shine!    Got That Special Spark? A Story That Demands to Be Heard? Your moment is now!  Sign up to Showcase Your Brilliance: https://aka.ms/MPPCGotPowerSignUp  Deadline for submissions: Thursday, Sept 28th    How It Works:  Submit this form to sign up: https://aka.ms/MPPCGotPowerSignUp  We'll contact you if you're selected. Get ready to be onstage!  The Spotlight is Yours: Each participant has 3-5 minutes to shine, with insightful commentary from our panel of judges. We’re not just giving you a stage; we’re handing you the platform to make your mark.     Be the Story We Tell: Your talents and narratives will not just entertain but inspire, serving as the bedrock for our community’s future stories and successes.    Celebration, Surprises, and Connections: As the curtain falls, the excitement continues! Await surprise awards and seize the chance to mingle with industry experts, Microsoft Power Platform leaders, and community luminaries. It's not just a show; it's an opportunity to forge connections and celebrate shared successes.    Event Details:  Date and Time: Wed Oct 4th, 6:30-9:00PM   Location: MPPC23 at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV, USA

#### September User Group Success Story: Reading Dynamics 365 & Power Platform User Group

The Reading Dynamics 365 and Power Platform User Group is a community-driven initiative that started in September 2022. It has quickly earned recognition for its enthusiastic leadership and resilience in the face of challenges. With a focus on promoting learning and networking among professionals in the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform ecosystem, the group has grown steadily and gained a reputation for its commitment to its members!   The group, which had its inaugural event in January 2023 at the Microsoft UK Headquarters in Reading, has since organized three successful gatherings, including a recent social lunch. They maintain a regular schedule of four events per year, each attended by an average of 20-25 enthusiastic participants who enjoy engaging talks and, of course, pizza.   The Reading User Group's presence is primarily spread through LinkedIn and Meetup, with the support of the wider community. This thriving community is managed by a dedicated team consisting of Fraser Dear, Tim Leung, and Andrew Bibby, who serves as the main point of contact for the UK Dynamics 365 and Power Platform User Groups.   Andrew Bibby, an active figure in the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform community, nominated this group due to his admiration for the Reading UK User Group's efforts. He emphasized their remarkable enthusiasm and success in running the group, noting that they navigated challenges such as finding venues with resilience and smiles on their faces. Despite being a relatively new group with 20-30 members, they have managed to achieve high attendance at their meetings.   The group's journey began when Fraser Dear moved to the Reading area and realized the absence of a user group catering to professionals in the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform space. He reached out to Andrew, who provided valuable guidance and support, allowing the Reading User Group to officially join the UK Dynamics 365 and Power Platform User Groups community.   One of the group's notable achievements was overcoming the challenge of finding a suitable venue. Initially, their "home" was the Microsoft UK HQ in Reading. However, due to office closures, they had to seek a new location with limited time. Fortunately, a connection with Stephanie Stacey from Microsoft led them to Reading College and its Institute of Technology. The college generously offered them event space and support, forging a mutually beneficial partnership where the group promotes the Institute and encourages its members to support the next generation of IT professionals.   With the dedication of its leadership team, the Reading Dynamics 365 and Power Platform User Group is poised to continue growing and thriving! Their story exemplifies the power of community-driven initiatives and the positive impact they can have on professional development and networking in the tech industry. As they move forward with their upcoming events and collaborations with Reading College, the group is likely to remain a valuable resource for professionals in the Reading area and beyond.

#### A Celebration of What We've Achieved--And Announcing Our Winners

As the sun sets on the #SummerofSolutions Challenge, it's time to reflect and celebrate! The journey we embarked upon together was not just about providing answers – it was about fostering a sense of community, encouraging collaboration, and unlocking the true potential of the Power Platform tools.   From the initial announcement to the final week's push, the Summer of Solutions Challenge has been a whirlwind of engagement and growth. It was a call to action for every member of our Power Platform community, urging them to contribute their expertise, engage in discussions, and elevate collective knowledge across the community as part of the low-code revolution.   Reflecting on the Impact As the challenge ends, it's essential to reflect on the impact it’s had across our Power Platform communities: Community Resilience: The challenge demonstrated the resilience of our community. Despite geographical distances and diverse backgrounds, we came together to contribute, learn, and collaborate. This resilience is the cornerstone of our collective strength.Diverse Expertise: The solutions shared during the challenge underscore the incredible expertise within our community. From intricate technical insights to creative problem-solving, our members showcased their diverse skill sets, enhancing our community's depth.Shared Learning: Solutions spurred shared learning. They provided opportunities for members to grasp new concepts, expand their horizons, and uncover the Power Platform tools' untapped potential. This learning ripple effect will continue to shape our growth. Empowerment: Solutions empowered community members. They validated their knowledge, boosted their confidence, and highlighted their contributions. Each solution shared was a step towards personal and communal empowerment. We are proud and thankful as we conclude the Summer of Solutions Challenge. The challenge showed the potential of teamwork, the benefit of knowledge-sharing, and the resilience of our Power Platform community. The solutions offered by each member are more than just answers; they are the expression of our shared commitment to innovation, growth, and progress!     Drum roll, Please... And now, without further ado, it's time to announce the winners who have risen above the rest in the Summer of Solutions Challenge!   These are the top community users and Super Users who have not only earned recognition but have become beacons of inspiration for us all.   Power Apps Community:  Community User Winner: @SpongYe Super User Winner: Pending Acceptance Power Automate Community:  Community User Winner: @trice602 Super User Winner: @Expiscornovus  Power Virtual Agents Community: Community User Winner: Pending AcceptanceSuper User: Pending Acceptance Power Pages Community: Community User Winner: @OOlashyn Super User Winner: @ChristianAbata   We are also pleased to announced two additional tickets that we are awarding to the Overall Top Solution providers in the following communities:    Power Apps: @LaurensM   Power Automate: @ManishSolanki    Thank you for making this challenge a resounding success. Your participation has reaffirmed the strength of our community and the boundless potential that lies within each of us. Let's keep the spirit of collaboration alive as we continue on this incredible journey in Power Platform together.Winners, we will see you in Vegas! Every other amazing solutions superstar, we will see you in the Community!Congratulations, everyone!

#### September featured user group leader

Ayonija Shatakshi, a seasoned senior consultant at Improving, Ohio, is a passionate advocate for M365, SharePoint, Power Platform, and Azure, recognizing how they synergize to deliver top-notch solutions. Recently, we asked Ayonija to share her journey as a user group leader, shedding light on her motivations and the benefits she's reaped from her community involvement.      Ayonija embarked on her role as a user group leader in December 2022, driven by a desire to explore how the community leveraged various Power Platform components. When she couldn't find a suitable local group, she decided to create one herself!    Speaking about the impact of the community on her professional and personal growth, Ayonija says, "It's fascinating to witness how everyone navigates the world of Power Platform, dealing with license constraints and keeping up with new features. There's so much to learn from their experiences.:        Her favorite aspect of being a user group leader is the opportunity to network and engage in face-to-face discussions with fellow enthusiasts, fostering deeper connections within the community. Offering advice to budding user group leaders, Ayonija emphasized the importance of communication and consistency, two pillars that sustain any successful community initiative.      When asked why she encourages others to become user group leaders, Ayonija said, "Being part of a user group is one of the best ways to connect with experienced professionals in the same field and glean knowledge from them. If there isn't a local group, consider starting one; you'll soon find like-minded individuals."      Her highlight from the past year as a user group leader was witnessing consistent growth within the group, a testament to the thriving community she has nurtured. Advocating for user group participation, Ayonija stated, "It's the fastest route to learning from the community, gaining insights, and staying updated on industry trends."   Check out her group: Cleveland Power Platform User Group

#### An MPPC23 Invitation from Charles Lamanna, CVP of Microsoft Business Applications & Platform

Hear from Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Business Applications & Platform, Charles Lamanna, as he looks ahead to the second annual Microsoft Power Platform Conference from October 3rd-5th 2023 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.Have you got your tickets yet? Register today at www.powerplatformconf.com

#### August new user groups and September user group events

We wanted to take the time to celebrate and welcome the new user groups that have joined our community. Along with that take a look at the event that might be happening near you or virtually.   Please welcome:  Biz Apps Community User Group - Power Platform Community (microsoft.com) This user group is dedicated for all community members of all skill levels to learn how to get the most out of their community experience. East Michigan Power Platform User Group - Power Platform Community (microsoft.com) This is hopefully the beginning of a community, covering eastern Michigan, built around the Power Platform.  Biz Apps Community User Group This user group is dedicated for all community members of all skill levels to learn how to get the most out of their community experience.     Events to checkout:   In-Person: September 2023 Hybrid Philadelphia Dynamics 365 & Power Platform User Group MeetDynamics 365 and Power Platform Physical Meetup Hyderabad Power Platform User Group Meetup - Sept 2023 (In-Person)Manchester September 2023 In Person Meeting Virtual: Everything Dataverse, Do you know that Dataverse is more than just a Database!POWER PLATFORM MONTHLY DIGEST- SEPTEMBERBaltic Summit 2023PL-900 Power Platform Fundamentals TrainingHR and L&D transformation through Power PlatformDynamics 365 Marketing Experience User Groups - Use Cases and NetworkingPower Platform and Dual Write from Dynamics 365 F&O PerspectiveANZ D365 FinOps Team September 2023 meetup

Top Solution Authors
Top Kudoed Authors
Users online (2,041)